New York Life insurance review 2021
This big-name insurer boasts top customer satisfaction on its wide policy and rider options.
finder.com's rating: 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★
Bottom line: New York Life has a great list of riders to customize your policy, though indexed universal life insurance is missing from the policy lineup.
finder.com's rating: 4.5 / 5
18 to 90
$100,000 to $25,000,000
Medical Exam Required
|Policies||Term, Whole, Universal, Variable|
|Term lengths||Any term length between 10 years and 20 years|
|Medical exam required||Yes|
|Available states||All 50 states and DC|
|Issue age||Not listed|
- Long list of riders to customize policies
- Term lengths capped at 20 years instead ot the standard 30 years
- No online quotes; only agents can finalize your application
Accelerated death benefit rider
Accidental death benefit rider
Guaranteed insurability rider
Lapse protection rider
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
New York Life insurance is an industry giant with term and permanent policies like variable universal life and at least nine riders, more options than typical for a life insurer. Its comprehensive plans help you tailor a policy to your needs.
That being said, you can’t apply for a policy online. And term life policies only stretch to 20 years, while policies from other companies typically offer longer terms like 30 years.
Despite those downsides, New York Life sees top customer and financial ratings and few complaints, making it a solid option. But explore your life insurance options to find the best policy for you.
Read the full review
Factors that affect New York Life insurance rates
To reach New York Life’s best rate class, you’ll need to meet these specific requirements:
- Blood pressure. Maximum of 130/80 for ages 18 to 59, and a maximum of 140/85 for ages 60 to 69.
- Cholesterol. Maximum of 250 with a maximum HDL of 4.5.
- Driving record. Two or less moving violations within two years and no DWI or DUI within five years.
- Family history. No cardiovascular disease in parents or siblings before age 60.
- Nicotine. No nicotine use within the last five years.
How to get a quote from New York Life insurance
You can reach New York Life by phone at 800-225-5695. Otherwise, follow these steps to get started online, then chat with an agent to finalize your policy:
- On New York Life’s homepage, click Don’t have an agent yet from the Contact Us tab.
- Select your financial goals, or click Skip to talk to a financial professional now.
- Enter your contact information, including name, address, phone number, birthdate and email address. Then, click Submit.
- An agent will contact you within a couple of business days to discuss your policy options.
What types of life insurance coverage does New York Life offer?
This company sells both term and permanent policies, catering to a wide variety of people and needs.
- Annual renewable term life. Starts with low premiums that raise each year until the term ends, ideal if you want short-term insurance before converting to a permanent policy.
- Term life. Offers fixed premiums and a death benefit if you die during your 10- or 20-year term.
- Universal. Builds cash value while offering flexible premiums and death benefits. New York Life offers a wide range of universal life options.
- Variable universal. Invests its cash value in riskier accounts than other policies for a higher return. It lets you adjust premiums and death benefits.
- Whole life. Offers lifelong coverage with level premiums and builds cash value. You may earn dividends from the insurance company’s profits.
What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?
You could add these common riders to your coverage — New York Life gives you more choices than many of its competitors:
- Accelerated death benefit rider. This living benefit pays some of your death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, though you’ll pay a fee to use it.
- Accidental death benefit rider. If you die from an accidental injury, the insurer pays an extra benefit up to $300,000.
- Child rider. Extends term coverage to your child. The child can convert to permanent life insurance when they reach age 25 or marry, or when the policyholder reaches age 65.
- Guaranteed insurability rider. Also called a policy purchase option, this add-on lets you buy more insurance later without taking a medical exam.
- Long-term care rider. Lets you pull from your death benefit to pay for professional care if you become chronically ill.
- Waiver-of-premium rider. If you become disabled for six months or more, this rider waives premiums up to age 100. You can add this rider later, but you’ll go through underwriting again.
New York Life also offers these riders angled toward permanent life policyholders:
- Return of cash value rider. If you die within a specified time frame, your beneficiaries will receive a benefit equal to the amount of premium you paid into your policy.
- Lapse protection rider. This rider guarantees a death benefit no matter how the market performs, as long as you pay your premiums and don’t violate loan requirements.
- Spouse rider. This rider lets your spouse purchase a new paid-up life insurance policy without providing proof of instability.
New York Life insurance reviews and complaints
New York Life insurance has been in the insurance industry since the 1840s, which means it has a long-standing financial history and the likely ability to pay out claims.
New York Life has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for its customer interaction as of October 2020, which speaks to its good customer support. The BBB has recorded 75 complaints from 2017 to 2020, which is relatively low for an insurance company.
On TrustPilot, New York Life has earned 3.7 out of 5 stars based on one customer review, which is above average for insurance companies.
|AM Best financial rating||
2/5 out of 5 customer reviews
|Trustpilot score||3.7/5 out of 1 customer reviews|
|JD Power score||784|
|Customer reviews verified as of||22 January 2021|
How New York Life compares to other companies
New York Life offers a suite of policies, including universal and renewable term life that you won’t find everywhere. Its nine riders offer more customization than most insurers with four or five riders.
The company also gets high marks for customer service. It received a 0.22 complaint ratio from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019, showing few complaints compared to the national complaint index of 1.00.
However, most insurers offer 30-year term life policies, while New York Life stops at 20 years. It also doesn’t offer indexed universal life or no medical exam policies.
Compare alternatives to New York Life
See how New York Life fares against other companies’ coverage and benefits. Check the Compare box to see up to four companies side by side.
Frequently asked questions about New York Life
Life insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry. New York Life insurance gets a four and a half out of five stars for good customer service and a wide range of policy customization options.